(Yicai Global) May 29 -- Alibaba Group Holding's video-streaming site Youku has become China Central Television's official new media partner after securing the exclusive right to broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup on its online platform.
Users will be able to watch 64 World Cup matches in high definition, the Beijing-based company said. The deal includes real-time streaming and interesting off-game sidelights, it added. The football championship will start in Moscow on June 14, with the final match held on July 15.
State broadcaster CCTV acquired the exclusive media rights to various FIFA competitions between 2018 and 2022 in China's mainland, including the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA U tournaments, state-backed news agency Xinhua reported.
China's top video-streaming platforms such as Youku, Tencent Video and Baidu's iQiyi, the country's most-viewed video service, are making concerted efforts to carve out a bigger share of a market expected to be worth CNY96.2 billion (USD15.2 billion) by 2020, more than four times what it was five years earlier, according to IHS Markit. Their efforts to win over viewers also include content distribution deals with big overseas movie and television production companies.
Editor: Emmi Laine